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Motoring law: Police crackdown on drink and drug driving

This summer, police officers will make a concerted effort to detect and stop drink and drug drivers. The 30-day crackdown began on 1 June and will involve roadside checks taking place at any time of day or night and on all kinds of roads.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) says their message is clear: "Have fun, drink if you want to, but don't then get behind the wheel and drive. If you take that risk you will be caught."

Statistics show that in 2009, of all deaths related to motoring accidents in the UK, 17% involved a drink driver. And almost 12,000 people were injured through drink-driving.

Last year, ACPO's summer campaign saw 101,000 people stopped and tested for drink and drugs. Out of those people, 5.6% tested positive, or refused to take the test.

If you refuse to take a breath test, the police will arrest you and take you to a police station for testing. The police are allowed to pull over anyone for a breath test if they suspect a motorist of criminal behaviour.


Those convicted of drink and drug driving face heavy fines, community service orders and could potentially face a jail sentence.
The number of deaths through drink driving has been falling over the years: there are 75% fewer deaths now than in 1979.

But while drink and drug driving is still responsible for hundreds of people dying and being injured each year, the police are determined to ramp up their efforts to stop offenders.

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: "Drink and drug driving are serious offences and drivers should be in no doubt that if they are caught behind the wheel under the influence this summer they risk losing their licence as well as facing a fine and even a prison sentence.

"We are taking forward measures to make it easier for the police to tackle drink and drug driving and protect law abiding road users including plans for drug testing kits to help detect drug drivers and tightening the law on drink driving."

Related links:
Read more on this story (ACPO.com)
Read an overview of the drink driving law (FindLaw)
Find local motoring solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)